Story Ideas

How do you like your weather?

Hot, cold or somewhere warm in between

27 September 2011

Canadians are obsessed with the weather. Maybe it’s because we have it in spades. And we’re not talking just cold and snow. We probably have as many ‘flavours’ of weather asHäagen-Dazs has ice-cream.

Our national weather office crunched the numbers for our 100 largest cities and came up with Canada’s Weather Winners. Herewith, a guide to finding the perfect weather for your particular personality, sunny or otherwise.

You like a challenge

Whatever the season, Newfoundland and Labrador offers the toughest combination of weather you’ll find. St. John’s is our foggiest and windiest city, and Gander and St. John’s lead the country as the top two locations with more days of freezing rain. Sunny days are few and far between. Of course, this explains why the people are some of the friendliest and fun-loving in the country – you gotta be special to endure weather like this.

You’re a softie

Victoria and Nanaimo – both on Vancouver Island in British Columbia tie for the most comfortable weather in Canada. Not too hot in summer, not too cold in winter. They’re also a lot dryer and sunnier than most people think. Victoria gets less snow than anywhere in the country while Nanaimo boasts the clearest summer skies. No wonder people spend so much time outside here.

You like sizzling heat

Kamloops, BC boasts the highest summer temperatures with the mercury consistently climbing into the high 20sC (80sF) in July and August. One day it reached 40.6C (105F)! Locals grab a tube and float down the Thompson River on those lazy hot days. The tourism folks have a motto: ‘Playtime. Redefined’.

You don’t mind freezing your butt off!

Head north to Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories for the lowest average temperatures year-round. Yellowknifers can also boast about having the most extreme wind chill and the longest snow-cover – up to 190 days every year. On the plus side, Yellowknife has the sunniest summers in the country.

You like dancing in the rain

Prince Rupert on BC’s northwest coast is your kind of place. Once known as ‘the halibut capital of the world’, Prince Rupert is the wettest city in Canada, getting almost 2.5 metres (eight feet) of rain a year. When you’ve had enough rain, explore the rich history of the northwest coast at the world-class Museum of Northern BC.

You like to be awed

Southern Ontario is famous for hot, sticky summers; the perfect ingredients for creating thunder and lightning storms. So it’s no coincidence that Windsor, our most humid city and one of our hottest (just a 3.5-hour drive from Toronto), also has the most days of thunderstorm activity. Daggers of lightning and thunderous claps will keep you entertained on many a summer evening.

You want a taste of everything

Montreal is the quintessential Canadian city for weather. It gets an average amount of just about everything: rain, snow, heat, cold, sun and wind. But just because the weather is average doesn’t mean the city is. Montreal is one of our most exciting, most romantic and arguably our most cosmopolitan city. The mix of weather is a bonus.


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